Avalabetta is a beautiful hilltop located around 100 kms from Bangalore. It is an ideal place for a short trip with great scenery to offer.
The mountain biking bug first bit me after incidentally joining a YHAI 7 day trip to Jalori Pass. Nearly a year later, I was about to attempt cycling around 200 kms in a day. I had been cycling around 25–30 kms a day for 6 months now so I knew I had the conditioning, but a long stretch of cycling brings a handful of challenges with it, the intense 35 degrees arid weather topping the list for me. Jittery and excited, I tried sleeping off only to wake up at 3 am next morning.
Quickly traversing the suburbs through almost empty streets and a couple of fierce dog chases, I managed to get out of Bangalore smoothly. The first break I took was at 46 km mark for a quick cup of filter coffee. Karma struck back to balance the equation as I had a flat at around 65 km mark in the middle of nowhere! Cursing myself for not getting a puncture repair kit, I started the long walk to the small town of Chikkaballapur which was around 4 kms. After a steamy bowl of Idli Vada, I got my cycle repaired and got back on the road. It was pretty smooth sailing for another 30 kms with a couple of good elevation gains in the middle. But to top it all, the last stretch drained everything that was left out of my guts. Those 1.4 kms had me contemplating things like “Why did I sign up for this!?”. Reaching the top was exhilarating and there was apprehension at the same time considering the fact that I had to cycle 100 kms back in the late April scorching heat. With an hour of rest, I left back for Bangalore at around 1. The downhill fun ride turned into an intense mental battle in no time. But my learnings with riding in the sun before helped me plan way better this time and I managed to reach back home by 7 with no major incident. I was very proud of my effort and slept like a baby ;)
A lot of people ask me — Why bother cycling 200 kms? Running long distances in one go? The only rational answer I can manage is — because it’s challenging. Our physical capabilities extend far more than our mind can begin to imagine [Read about Raramuri, a Mexican tribe and their athletic abilities]. Going against your cognition and pushing your limits brings out who you really are and transforms you from within and without. So if you are up for a ride, I’m already game!